Wizards blown out in final game before trade deadline


WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards lost to the Miami Heat 121-100 on Monday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five observations from what went down...

Another tough one

The Wizards took another beatdown on Monday night, this one a 21-point defeat to the Miami Heat, making eight losses in nine games for them overall and two straight in which they have trailed by 30-plus points. What has been the low point of their season continues to reach further depths and right in time for the NBA trade deadline to arrive.

This was the Wizards' last game before the deadline and surely the front office has seen enough of this current roster to know major changes are needed. The question is what can they pull off with the assets at hand. They will have to off days to think about it before Thursday arrives. They will then host the Brooklyn Nets that night.

Bradley Beal wasn't in the lineup once again as he continues to deal with a sprained ligament in his left wrist. The Wizards could have used him, as they had another horrendous night on the offensive end, managing only 100 points, one game after they could only muster 80 points against the Suns.

At 24-29, the Wizards are now a season-low five games under .500.

3-point defense

This game got away from the Wizards at times because the Heat got hot from three. While 3-point defense is usually a strength for the Wizards, Miami was very aggressive early firing from long range and were able to get a collection of players in a shooting rhythm. Duncan Robinson hit two triples in the first two minutes and had four for the game. He had 12 points.


Robinson hitting threes is no surprise of course. But the Wizards also got killed by Gabe Vincent, who came in averaging 9.3 points and surpassed that by the end of the first quarter. He had 16 points, shooting 4-for-6 from three. The Heat as a team went 18-for-32 from long range. They didn't take a ton of attempts, but made 56.3% of them.

3-point offense

It may have been an unusually bad night for the Wizards' defense, but they produced a far too common result on the other end with another typically rough outing shooting from the perimeter. The Wizards went 7-for-31 from three, good for 22.6%. That was the glaring issue for their offense, as they shot a decent 45% from the field and outdid the Heat 58-to-40 in the paint.

It was yet another game where you can't help but wonder how different things would have been if they got just a handful of more threes to go down. The Wizards have continued to be one of the truly worst 3-point shooting teams in the league and it is a debilitating weakness. For as much focus as fans and media have placed on other areas of need at the trade deadline, shooting is a major hole that needs to be filled one way or another. If they were even league-average shooting threes, this season might be a different story.

Holiday and Harrell

The Wizards were getting blasted early, down 18 late in the first quarter and by 20 early in the second. But they fought back to make it a game quickly thanks to a push by Aaron Holiday and Montrezl Harrell. Holiday was starting in Beal's place, while Harrell was in his usual role as a microwave scorer off the bench. The two combined to score all of the Wizards' points during a 15-4 run in the middle of the second. A Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three right after that cut the Heat lead to six at 50-44.

The Wizards still lost the game, but it was a brief stretch of positive momentum for the Wizards. Holiday has been making the most of his recent opportunity, as he scored 14 points for his second straight game in double-figures. Harrell, meanwhile, was in double-figures for the 16th time in 18 games. He had 13 points. He's back to being one of the team's most consistent players after a brief slump in December and then a stint in health and safety protocols.

Beal and Gafford

In addition to Beal being out, the Wizards were also missing Daniel Gafford, who entered health and safety protocols the day before. Gafford, of course, isn't in the rotation right now, but still the Wizards would like to have him back just in case. 'Just in case' nearly happened in this game, as Harrell went down holding his right ankle and in obvious pain. While he was able to shake it off and return soon after, the Wizards had to turn to Anthony Gill at center for a brief period.


Beal, meanwhile, is set to be re-evaluated on Tuesday. He continues to wear a brace on his left wrist at the arena, including while he was on the bench with his teammates on Monday. That doesn't seem like a good sign he will be ready to go particularly soon. But maybe he can get the brace/cast off and start making quick progress. The Wizards do have two days off before they play next, on Thursday.